March 15-- Ogeechee RiverKeepers urges opposition to a proposal that would allow loggers to remove ancient logs from Georgia rivers including the Altamaha. The organization issued a "call to action" this morning.
Ask Your Representative To Vote No On SB 362
SB 362 is scheduled for a hearing in the House Natural Resources Committee on Thursday, with a possible floor vote shortly thereafter. This bill applies to "deadhead" logs (logs on the bottom of the rivers) in the navigable portions of the Altamaha, Oconee, Ocmulgee, and Flint Rivers. It would allow log miners to both harvest the logs and set the price for the logs through a sealed bidding process. Current law has DNR setting the price for this precious public asset.
The logs sank in the late 1800's during massive harvesting a and transporting to coastal sawmills and ports for export. Over time they have become an integral part of the river bottom and serve as habitat for fish spawning, food production and protective cover. Even under a highly regulated program, mining for the logs on the river bottom will disrupt fragile ecological systems and may release heavy metals and potentially carcinogenic PCB's residing in sediments into the river and related water systems. Mining activities will disrupt boating, fishing, and swimming activities in the river and may create additional hazards to people using the river. Mining these logs will serve only a handful of "trophy" wood collectors who can make large profits by selling the old, preserved logs for use as upscale floors and furniture.
Mining logs from the Georgia's rivers provides no benefit to Georgia's citizens or our priceless rivers and their aquatic resources. The likely compensation price to the state for the acquisition of these resources will certainly not adequately compensate the state for the sale of these resources. In addition, there is no justification for the health and ecological dangers presented by this kind of log mining.
Tell your Representative to oppose any effort to pass SB 362.
Deadline for responding: Please take action by Tuesday, March 20, 2012.
The following organizations are participating in this campaign:
Georgia Canoeing Association
Georgia Conservation Voters
Georgia River Network
Mothers & Others for Clean Air
Sierra Club - Georgia Chapter
Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeeper